Oh, Marley.

I had a lovely yoga practice today. I'm subbing some classes that are not Ashtanga week, so at mysore today, instead of doing my normal practice (lately mostly second series), I decided to practice what I would be teaching! My favourite instructor, who led my teacher's training, was there so I could ask lots of questions, and really get the "flow' of the class. All in all, a great start to the day!

After that, I went grocery shopping: to Planet Organic (the Canadian version of whole foods), and to my conventional grocery store. I ended up getting a lot of yummy stuff: broccoli, collards, kales, some delicious gala apples, some veggies for T's salads, some almonds, honey-roasted peanuts for T, daikon radish, and some carrot juice! I was most excited about my new purchase...

Chia! I have read so much about them, and have been eyeing Heather's delicious looking bowls of chia creations, that I decided it was definitely time for me to give em' a shot. Because I'm ALMOST done my month of eating very simply, i'm going to wait until Sunday to taste them, but I can't wait, and will let you guys know what I think. I then carried everything home, and sunk my teeth into a beyond delicious crisp organic gala apple. Mmm...I can pretend all I want, but sometimes nothing hits the spot like a bit of fruit.

I also had some simple but delicious eats:

Then, I sat on the couch, and half an hour later started bawling. Why? Because I just finished Marley and Me, by John Grogan. The stories, memories, and descriptions of the goofy kind-hearted dog hit home more than Grogan could possibly know. I have had the joy of being the proud sister to a giant yellowy gold Marley named Amber, for the better part of my life. She's turning 13 this year, and the similarities between the two dogs are just uncanny. Over the years, Amber has been a constant source of joy, laughter, happiness, and destruction (of household and automobile property) for my family. Although she is a Golden Retriever, and not a yellow lab like Marley, I'm sure they were kindred spirits. Amber was there for me from day one: listening to me when I needed someone to talk to, running with me in the ravine, and waking up early and sharing the morning sunlight on the deck as we got ready to face another day. Like the family in the book, we too have been noticing our wonderful dog getting older, and she has given us a few scares over the past few years. Just this year we decided to do a risky operation and remove a tumor from her leg. She came through it though, despite her temporarily hair-less operated on leg. Like Marley, she is strong, and i'm sure she'll be a mischievous, bratty fighter until the end.

This post is dedicated to you, Amber, as a thanks for all the love you have given me, and the unequivocally patient ears and heart you have shown me. Like Marley, you have taught me that the best things in life come for free, that true love is not necessarily human-bound, and that animals can be the perfect family therapist: listening, not with judgment but empathy, sharing sorrow if needed, and bringing everyone closer through simple joys such as walking outside in nice weather, or playing in the leaves (not to mention stopping arguments with comic relief by snapping at dragonflies as they pass by).

You are the best friend a girl could ask for, and there will always be a special spot in my heart for you. Here's hoping that one day you'll finally get that squirrel, ambie girl.